No being a ninja in the nexus of w-space

6th March 2010 – 3.14 pm

Today's scanning finds the nexus of w-space, system J100001! It's good that simple pleasures appeal to me, because I can still get a little buzz from the system number after spending twenty minutes scanning only to be told that our scanning man has already done it. He went AFK at our tower forgetting to drop the bookmarks in the shared can, returning to tell me when the only signature left in the system is the wormhole. Never mind, scanning was taking a while anyway. The lowest strength signature in the system turns out to be a ladar, with three others having similar strengths. The lowest strength of these three is also a ladar site, so I resolve the highest signature hoping to find the wormhole only to get a further ladar site. At least I can just pick up the bookmarks now.

The exit wormhole to New Eden is reaching the end of its lifetime, so I won't be using that in case I can't get back again. Apparently, the class 2 system also found may have an exit, but I am told in the same breath that the wormhole leading to the class 2 system is also at the end of its lifetime. As an exit is only as stable as the entire route I don't bother going to scan for an exit. With little else to do at the moment, I fly out to check the status of the low-sec exit anyway, finding it is indeed really quite wobbly. But J100001 is truly a vast system, well over 100 AU across. The maximum range of my core probe scanners only reaches 32 AU, and I cannot hope to cover a quarter of the system with a standard probe configuration. A single probe planted on top of the star doesn't reach to the third planet, and there is a much more distant fourth. It seems like it would be an exercise in frustration to scan this system daily.

I consider an efficient way of scanning the system, for my own curiosity as much as anything. I end up chaining the probes around each planet's orbital path looking for any return signal, which can then be concentrated on by overlapping probes. I find nothing beyond the already bookmarked signatures, including the low-sec exit and a null-sec exit. Checking the positions of the signatures, I muse that it is likely that all signatures in all systems appear within a certain range of a celestial body, probably within 16 AU because of probe ranges. Scanning this vast system would be too unwieldy without some strange attraction between celestial bodies and cosmic anomalies, and learning a general rule like this one would also help in scanning other large systems. I think it is worth investigating in subsequent scanning sorties.

Whilst finshing my thoughts, an idle check of my directional scanner shows me an interesting situation. There are no ships visible on d-scan, which extends out to the occupied tower in the system, but there are Sleeper wrecks visible. It is possible that the occupants have cleared an anomaly and have moved on to a different one before salvaging. I am intrigued. Without dropping further probes, I perform a scan of the system using the default ship scanner, which reveals the few anomalies currently present. As the system lacks any other sites, the wrecks must be in an anomaly. In my cloaked covert operations Buzzard I warp off to one of them, ending up in empty space. No wrecks are here, but a Thrasher warps in to my location within a few seconds of my arrival. The Minmatar destroyer is probably being used as a salvaging vessel. It looks like this anomaly has been cleared, salvaged and has despawned, though. The Thrasher warps off. I'm curious to find out what's happening.

I find the occupied tower in the system using d-scan, helped by seeing in which direction the Thrasher warps away, locating it at planet 1 moon 6. Warping to the tower I see the Thrasher, a Raven battleship and Cheetah cov-ops boat. The Cheetah is stored and the capsuleer boards a Navy Issue Scorpion battleship instead. And off they warp. With the list of anomalies still in my ship's computer I follow, safely cloaked, enjoying the voyeuristic journey. The Navy Issue Scorpion and Raven dive in to an anomaly, both repairing the other's shields when necessary, and the Sleepers are being easily defeated. I get a small tingle of excitement seeing this, as I maintain my distance and keep moving, wondering if I could wait until the pair of battleships moves to the next site before swooping in to grab some of the Sleeper loot for myself. The Thrasher would no doubt be on its way, but it wouldn't be fitted with weapons and I could probably steal loot from a few wrecks before having to flee from returning battleships, and it would be quite naughty. Sadly, the Raven has a tractor beam fitted and is actively looting all the wrecks. No being a ninja for me.

Leaving the fighting battleships behind, I warp to the low-sec exit to at least see where it leads. If it's a simple jump to get to high-sec I could perhaps pick up my Crane quickly. But the system on the other side of the wormhole could hardly be lower in security status without becoming completely lawless. I find myself deep in the low-sec region of Aridia, in a 0·1 sec system, almost a dozen jumps needed just to get back to high-sec. The low-sec jumps may not faze me if I had my Crane, but even if my transport ship weren't docked in a station in Amarr the twenty-seven jumps to get to corporate HQ makes this exit less than convenient. I can't steal loot, there are no alternative routes to scan, and the exit to New Eden is too remote to be useful. I'll just head back home to our tower.

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